Hyderabad: About 10,000 drivers have retired statewide in the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) in the last nine years and there has been no recruitment of new drivers after 2011. Because of this, the drivers are being overloaded with longer working hours, driving on the crowded streets.
There is a shortage of drivers in all 96 depots in the corporation, according to the TSRTC employees unions and many drivers are being forced to do double duty to compensate the lack of drivers. Sources revealed that there were also times when bus services were cancelled when there was no one willing to do double duty.
A driver who works in the Sangareddy depot said, “Most often, when drivers are asked to do double duty and even if they refuse, the depot managers or assistant managers compel them to do work and in return, promise them to grant pending requests such as requests for leaves.”
He added that double duty not only impacts the driver but is risky for passengers as well. It might leave him tired, irritated and sleepy, which puts passengers’ lives at stake.
When a TSRTC officials were asked how they manage with the shortage of staff, he said, “We are able to manage with the existing drivers because we have called off some existing bus services after optimising services. However, one cannot manage in this way for long. We hope there will be recruitment soon.”
Employees unions also claimed that they do not have a permanent head to take their issues to government. Mr N. Krishna, Greater Hyderabad Zonal President, Telangana Jatiya Mazdoor Union, said, “We need to have a permanent managing director and chairman, so that they concentrate on corporation issues.”
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